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  Coronavirus Pandemic President Trump Virtual Town Hall  FOX News  March 24, 2020 9:00am-11:00am PDT

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>> ed: harris faulkner and bill hemmer about host a virtual town hall on the coronavirus. a big event, sandra. >> sandra: the president will be joining at half past the hour today. stay tuned for the fox news town hall. now. ♪ speak of the is accelerating that's heartbreaking. i am pleading with you to stay home. stay home. >> america will again and soon be open for business. we will not let the queue would be worse than the problem. >> the bad news continues to accelerate. that's what you are going to hear as you see red and the stocks. >> we are looking for protection. we are looking for oversight in those so-called bailouts. we need to protect workers.
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>> 400 ventilators from the federal stockpile are arriving now to help new york city. >> directing all schools to be closed until may 1st. we may have to close permanently. >> i want americans to know that we will get through this challenge. the hardship will end. >> harris: good afternoon, and welcome to our fox news virtual town hall with president trump and his coronavirus task force. so glad you're with us. i'm harris faulkner in new york. >> bill: and i'm bill hemmer live in the rose garden here at the white house. over the next two hours, the president, the vice president, and the officials tasked with leading our nation's response on the virus pandemic will join us to answer your questions all across america. this, as the virus continues to spread around the world. at the moment there are nearly
quote
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400,000 cases confirmed, and more than 17,000 have died. here at home, cases are also on the rise. more than 46,000 confirmed cases, and at least 592 deaths. just yesterday, american death topped 100 in a single day for the first time. with me now to begin this hour, here at the white house, the vice president, mike pence, who is leading the task force from washington. thank you for your time today. >> vice president pence: good to see you, bill, welcome to the white house. >> bill: thank you, it's an honor to be here. i hope to be blood home get some value over the next two hours while we try to get them some answers. moments ago, new york's governor andrew cuomo is imploring the construction immediately of up to 30,000 ventilators to be shipped to new york. would be the hold up on that, sir? >> vice president pence: well, let me say first and foremost that, as the president announced action earlier this week for washington state, for california, very early in this
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process president trump has formed a seamless partnership with our governors. the way we respond to health crises in this country is, as fema's mission describes, it's locally executed. the health care workers, at times law enforcement on the ground, community officials that are in the lead. it is state managed, bill. and it's federally supported. from early on, we've been working that formula, empowering our governors, making sure they have the resources and support they need. it's one of the reasons we have been surging resources. the president announced that the javits center in new york, that we are helping to build out about a thousand beds, a field hospital. i major disaster declaration. we are working around the clock making sure they have the masks, the medical supplies, and the ventilators to meet that need. >> bill: you and the president
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have said consistently that many american companies have come to you offering the resources that you need. yet, fema today says it will make a request for test kits starting today, and will use the defense production act. how close are you two implying that for, let's say, the ventilator request for new york state? >> vice president pence: first, let me just say, if the american people could see what i'm seeing both in this presidents leadership and in the response of american businesses, they would be inspired every day. the president did initiate the defense production act. that allows the president of the united states to mandate production of particular items at times of war or national crisis. the reality is, though, whether it be masks, tens of millions are being produced with spun up production at companies like 3m and honeywell. even haynes has stepped forward
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to manufacture masks. or be ventilators and equipment that are hospital personnel need. with the president and i have witnessed consistently is, every time we've asked american industry to step forward, they've said yes. no one has said no yet. we are working now through the structure of fema through managing the supply chain at fema to make sure we are harnessing the full energy of the american government just as we are harnessing a whole of government approach at the federal, state, and local level to confront the coronavirus. >> bill: will be done starting last night's reached out her viewers all over america to ask them to file questions with us. many of these questions come by way of video. i want to get to those right now. i know in this interactive sense we want to try and bring the american people to the white house, and vice versa. that's why we here today. >> vice president pence: let me respond on the ventilator issue, just to be very clear. the national stockpile, as we indicated, has some 20,000 ventilators.
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we've been making those available to states, particularly we have been focusing resources, ventilators and masks and gowns, on the state's most impacted. that would be seattle, where the major first outbreak occurred. california. and really, what's become the epicenter of the coronavirus fit in this country, in the state of new york. and the greater new york city area, including new jersey. we will continue to prioritize those resources. the american people should understand and be encouraged to know that, when it comes to ventilators, when people reach a point with the coronavirus where they have severe respiratory struggles, that there are, by most accounts, more than 150,000 respirators and hospitals and clinics across the country today. it's not really within the national stockpile, bill. but also, because the president brought together the leaders of all of her medical groups in the country, a week ago we were able to inform governors that
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anesthesiologists have a piece of equipment that they use for outpatient surgery, for administering anesthetics for everyone that's ever been put under. working quickly with the fda, we were able to inform governors that those devices can be quickly converted to respirators for coronavirus. people struggling with coronavirus. >> bill: dominic the fda had to prove the change of a single event. speaking with all the governors across the country, we are calling on governors in every state to survey all their outpatient clinics and identify what we also know ari, today, tens of thousands of ventilators that are able to meet this need going forward. we are also pleased to know that general motors, working with a subsidiary, has already made a commitment to repurpose some of the manufacturing line to create ventilators. we are seeing industry step up. i want the american people to know that, because of our
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cooperation with medical professionals around the country, we are identifying all new resources, all new commit that can be converted and can add to the supply of tens of thousands of ventilators. we will continue to meet this moment of creativity and with the resources of the american people. >> bill: and want to give our viewers at on the opportunity to get on this. i appreciate the answer in that. we'll come back to that later today. the first question, here it is. >> what is the potential for a national stay-at-home order? is it something that america could be seeing in their near future? >> bill: a national stay-at-home order. how much have you considered that? >> vice president pence: i can tell you that at no point has the white house coronavirus task force discussed what some people call it a nationwide lockdown. or, as you described it, a stay-at-home order.
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we've done is publish the president's coronavirus guidelines. i've got them right here and i recommend them to everybody's attention. it's 15 days to slow the spread. this is what we believe every american should be doing during what remains of the next week or so, because we think we have the chance to significantly reduce the spread of the coronavirus and the threat it presents to the most vulnerable among us. it's important to remember that most americans, even those that contract coronavirus, will fully recover. but for those who are seniors with the serious underlying health condition, or anyone with an immune deficiency, the coronavirus represents a serious threat to their health. >> bill: if i could just interject -- >> vice president pence: the president is calling on every american to avoid groups of more than ten, to use drive-through's, avoid discretionary travel, we believe this can significantly reduce
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the threat of the coronavirus. that being said, let me say, states like california and illinois and of course new york and elsewhere have taken strong measures. president trump and i and our team fully support the decisions by your state and local officials that make be stronger than this. but we believe this is the right prescription across the board to slow the spread, and we recommend it to every single american. >> bill: on that charter, 15 days. right now we are around day nine. next monday is the 15-day mark. i want to bring my colleague, harris faulkner. harris, hello again. >> harris: hello, bill. good to see you, mr. vice president. i did have kind of an open question, and absolutely i will get you another viewer question. because the power of the people, their voice is so important today. i want to follow up, though, on this ventilator hospital surge
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type of support for particularly the three hardest hit states, washington, california, and newark. hearing from governor cuomo as hwe have -- and he is wont to update the nation every day -- about the talk. he is saying the administration is saying know about that stockpile of ventilators. those are needed. as you said, mr. vice president, when this thing kicks in and attacks your lungs and becomes pneumonic. we need to gear out. if the spike now is doubling the number of cases in newark, every three days, which is what governor cuomo said, and we are at what we thought would be an apex and we are not there yet, he calls it "a bad combination" of how many cases of people who are actually getting sick, and how woefully ill-prepared we are with the numbe number ventilato. why not just unleash that stockpile now? >> vice president pence: well, what i can tell you any
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reviewers , harris, we are doing just tha. we are in the process of literally sending the entire national stockpile out. i want the people of new york to know that we are putting a priority on the state of new york and of course on washington and california where the outbreak has been the most severe. since the president -- >> harris: all right. >> vice president pence: will continue to detail that. i can promise you in our conversations with governor cuomo, and our conversation that the president and i had with date dominic bill de blasio just the day before yesterday. want to assure them that will make those resources available.
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will identify resources that are in the private marketplace. but we are calling on our governors to identify those respirators and their outpatient clinic that anesthesiologists and now the fda have said can be converted. this, literally, harris, would add tens of thousands of respirators to our health care facilities, and we renewed that call to our governors. we will continue to share that message even while the increase production. >> harris: what people may be able to appreciate about what you are saying, mr. vice president, is perhaps that could be done expeditiously because they are already in the system. i'm just trying to find out on people's behalf what is faster. releasing the stockpile -- i don't live in new york, i'm just across the river and knowing that the javits center, which is across from the ferry and a lot of transportation hubs, is being turned into a makeshift hospital. so the visuals on this thing are eye-popping. what's faster, going through the system as you were describing,
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or the stockpile? just a quick answer on that and i will get to a viewer. >> vice president pence: harris, the president since it's in all the of the above strategy. we want to identify resources already in the marketplace, including with the fda has no proof to be converted to be used as respirators. but we are spinning up industry every single day. the president has made it clear, he is fully prepared to use the defense production act. the executive order he signed against hoarding and price gouging yesterday was based on the defense production act. at this point, i can tell you american industry is stepping forward as never before. we are going to meet this challenge as americans together. >> harris: all right. real quickly, can we go to that viewer question from cory? >> what can we start to look for is the new normal? what can we start to expect as
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far as long-term lasting changes, to better prepare us for the next health crisis or pandemic facing our country? >> harris: mr. vice president, go right ahead. >> vice president pence: it's a great question. you know, the president reflected on the fact that there may be some really good changes and practices just in our culture going forward, as we do with this unprecedented spread of the coronavirus, and infectious disease. what we are working toward in this 15 days is to literally lower the number of americans that will be exposed to the coronavirus. i am inspired to see, literally, reports of people all across this country -- not just in areas that have seen an outbreak, but in areas where there have been a limited number of cases -- they are putting into practice these principles. we have every confidence, our health care experts do, that
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that is slowing the spread. make a mistake about it, the president, as he said yesterday, has asked the task force, our health experts, our entire team, to bring in recommendations about what's next. in the president made it clear that, while we stay complete focus on the most vulnerable, on people for whom the consequences of contracting the coronavirus can be quite dire, which is seen news with serious underlying health conditions and people with immunodeficiencies, the president said we want to find a way, as he said, "to open america backup." to get american business moving again. the president has asked our team fragmentations about not how we do one or the other, but how we do both. over the months ahead, we will focus on our most vulnerable by putting america back to work. we will also make that a priority. as the president said, in weeks and not months.
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>> harris: all right. >> vice president pence: harris, thank you. >> harris: excited to hear about the future. bill, back to you. >> bill: harris, i think cory's question, he puts his finger on what everybody is concerned about. so thank you for the question and thank you for being here. our courage continues in a moment. we are live at the rose garden here in the white house, for the next hour and 40 minutes. in moments, president trump will join our conversation. our virtual town hall, as well as other members from the task force. we will continue to take your questions on the pandemic. all of that is straight ahead here o on fox news. ♪ to every corner of this country. so you can trust us to be here for you... ...as we remain committed to supporting our community. because the toyota family is stronger together. this is our pledge.
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>> bill: back here at our virtual town hall, welcome back, everyone. i bill hemmer live here in the rose garden at the white house. moments from now, president trump will join a virtual town hall. he will be up here in minutes. a couple members of his task force will be here. dr. deborah birx will do in a scum of the surgeon general. we will get their input as to where we are now, with the vice president describing a moment ago this 15-day slow the spread plan that started really about nine days ago. so we are well into that now. you will get a sense as to, from the experts, what they are feeling and hearing, and based on the data and numbers. not just here at home but around the world. in the meantime, chief white house correspondent john roberts' life here from the north lawn, the other side of the house here, so to speak. john, good afternoon to you. >> bill, we can almost hear from the white house driveway. one of the big topics of conversation, is on that last hour with governor andrew cuomo of new york and with the president yesterday. i'm sorry you side, the vice president mentioned it. how do you start to reopen parts of the american economy?
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you got the health part of this, the white house and many states believe they are making good progress on that in terms of ramping up testing, getting medical supplies in the pipeline. there are still shortages. but then there's the economic track. even with the coming for schools to meals package we expect from congress soon, how long can you keep sectors of the american economy close down before the whole thing starts to crater? which is why on the state and federal level, officials are now looking at a plan where they can reopen sectors of the economy and get people back to work. he was with a set above the coronavirus briefing queue would be worse than the problem itself. we won't let the qb resend the problem. at the end of the 15 day. we will make a decision as to which way we want to go. where we want to time the opening. essentially the opening of a country. >> the president gets low criticism. how can you send people back to
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work with will help spread the virus? governor cuomo is echoing that today. we have learned about transmission, and which populations loud rumble. if you can isolate vulnerable populations, perhaps you can let younger people go back to work. clearly the medical advisors will play a big role in this. when asked about it and what guidance he would get from the medical community and his advisors, whether he would take it, this is what the president said. >> if it were up to th the doct, they would say keep it shut down. let's shut down the entire world. you're up to almost 150 countries. so let's shut down the entire world, and when we shut it down, that's wonderful. and let's keep it shut for a couple of years. we can't do that. you can't do that with a country, especially the number one economy anywhere in the world. >> one of the thing that will be key, bill, to whether or not this could actually happen, is that an element of what are called serology tests. the current test we have tells you if you have an active infection but it doesn't tell
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you if you use to be infected. they are hoping to develop very soon a pen print blood test. it would tell if you have antibodies to a previous coronavirus disease that you have recovered from. and there's an idea that if you get a widespread serology test, people can get tested to see if they did have the virus. if they did, they are no longer infected. those of the first people that can potentially go back to work. we will see how this goes. lots to talk about with the president coming up. >> bill: dr. burks may help answer that, they talked about this swab self-test. specifically about the economy, this will idea about the cure. making sure it's not worse than the problem itself. if day 15 is monday on the president clearly sent a signal he will reevaluate this. i guess as you are evaluating it on an hourly basis, clearly on a daily basis, what would be the trigger mechanism to tell certain parts of the country, "it's okay now, you got the green light?" >> vice president pence: let's
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begin with the fact that the 15 days to slow the spread was a recommendation the president embraced. we believed that, when you think about this curve of the epidemic, that we were at the early point in the curve and that if americans were willing to step up and embrace these practices that we could literally lessen the impact of the coronavirus and ultimately save lives. the great news is millions of americans are doing this. what the president test our team to do at the white house coronavirus task force, with our top health experts, is to evaluate the progress that we have made and bring the president recommendations for how we could begin to open america up in the weeks ahead. but the most important thing for your viewers is to understand, as people are wondering, "what can i do, what difference can i
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make?" literally, by avoiding groups of more than ten, not eating in bars and restaurants right now, avoiding unnecessary travel, these are all the kind of practices that will prevent the inadvertent spread and ultimately lower the amount of americans that will be exposed to this. which puts at risk that group of people who are truly vulnerable to serious consequences. the truth is, the risk to the average american from the coronavirus, the risk of serious illness remain low. because it's three times more contagious than the flu, and because, as we study numbers, from what we know of china, study numbers from south korea, italy, and europe, it is particularly seniors. seniors with serious underlying health conditions that we've got to particularly be careful
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about. that's why the 15 days to slow the spread was put into effect. as the president looks forward now, as he said, he's looking for recommendations about how we can responsibly reopen america while taking care of -- to be to use it weeks, too. we can come back to it. meantime, harris has one of the excellent view questions. back to harris for that now. >> harris: it is so true. they have their pulse on the economy right now. mr. vice president, you are right on time with that. let's watch george from los angeles who has submitted a question. then we will get to it. this is on facebook. >> we employed eight people who have been loyal. we promised to take care of them for another 15-30 days. beyond that, it's going to be very difficult for us to survive. what are you prepared to do for small businesses like ours?
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>> harris: mr. vice president? >> vice president pence: thank you, george, for the question. let me say that right after seeing to the health and safety of the american public, this president has been working from early on that the american people have access to free coronavirus testing. we have worked with insurance companies, we've worked with the congress to provide support, and right now the congress is negotiating a bill that would provide direct support to american families. the average family of four would receive a payment of $3,000. speaking about those great employees that i can tell you really love and cherish, like any small business owner does, congress also has a provision that would provide direct payroll support to companies like yours to keep people on the payroll, even if the business is closed, for a period of the next few months.
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it's an effort for us to make the resources available so businesses acros across the couy can weather the storm. we will also have facilities, lending facilities, that make it possible for vital industries like hotels and airlines -- and we've talked with our cruise industries. those have been so impacted, they have access to capital. but for small businesses, companies with less than 500 employees, there will be that payroll support which is all designed to make sure that we can weather the storm. and congress is working on it right now. i think the president said again last night that we remain hopeful that congress will come together, maybe even before the end of the day, to pass the care act. but it's absolutely essential for our workers, for businesses just like george's, that congress come together and pass legislation that will help american families and american workers. >> harris: i know as the
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president of the senate, i am curious when you might go over and shake them up on capitol hill. because they've been fighting like cats and they need to get something done. the american people are waiting. >> vice president pence: harris, i can tell you, what's been encouraging so far is the first two bills that the president requested, there has been strong bipartisan support. issues have arisen over the past few days, but our team on capitol hill tells us that we are really getting down to the fine print. we are hoping for a vote in the senate today. i spoke to a member of house democrat leadership last night and said, "this is a time where the president wants to see the congress to come together as they did in those earlier two bills and provide support for businesses, workers, we continue to remain hopeful that will happen and happen soon. >> bill: we have many more questions, so standby here. we are in the rose garden at the white house, and many more questions in a moment.
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the president will join our conversation, as well. we will answer them in our virtual town hall. it's never been done this way before, but this is a moment in our nations history where we all get a little inventive. and we shall throughout the afternoon. live back at the white house as our coverage continues on this special edition on the fox news channel. ♪ sure, principal is a financial company. but think of us as a "protect your family as it grows" company. a "put enough away for college" company. and a "take care of your employees" company. we're a "help you ride the ups and downs of the market" company. and when it's time to retire, we're a "we've been guiding you toward this all along" company.
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what? bundle and save with allstate. click or call for a quote today. >> bill: will get some answers for you as you figure it would america and the world are facing. i'm bill hemmer here in the word dominic rose garden.
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my colleague harris faulkner joins us, as well. we will get back to harris momentarily. the vice president continues to be with me. nice to see you again. >> vice president pence: thank you, bill. >> bill: every morning when i wake up i go to the johns hopkins global map. i'm sitting data and numbers from various countries. not just ours, but south korea and china and italy and spain, over the weekend, too. what is the first bit of data that you look for the moment you wake up in the morning? >> vice president pence: it really is how we begin every meeting at the white house coronavirus task force. dr. deborah birx is probably the leading expert on infectious diseases in the world, and the day the president tapped me to lead this task force, i picked up the phone and told her she needed to come to the white house. she has been my right arm every step of the way. >> bill: would she be the person who brings you the first piece of information on a daily basis? >> vice president pence: what dr. burke said yesterday at the podium, the briefing, is our entire approach. we want every decision that we bring to the president to be
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informed by the data and by the experience. from what we know of china, we did have people on the ground in february that looked at their raw data. but we've been carefully studying south korea, carefully studying what's happening in italy. we've been trying to apply those lessons learned here. for instance, in italy at this point, the average age of death is 80. it heavily skews to people who have serious underlying health conditions. >> bill: what dr. birx said is among the majority of those who died in italy they had at least three pre-existing conditions. is that a fact? >> vice president pence: the average age of contracting the disease and italy is 60. at this point, no one under the age of 30. no one under the age of 30 has died from the disease. >> bill: of course their death rate has been much higher than any other country, more than 9%.
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ours has been relatively low, about 1.3%. which is where south korea was, or is at the moment. >> vice president pence: our hearts go out to every family that has lost a loved one to the coronavirus. it's one of the reasons why the president, early on -- we changed all the guidelines for every nursing home in america. we raised the standards. we deployed all 8,000 of our nursing home inspectors across the country to enforce guidelines on the spread of infectious disease. that's why we essentially have said no visitors to nursing homes anymore, except in cases of hospice care. we don't want to deny families being together. >> bill: a lot of strain. >> vice president pence: we know at this point he was the most memorable. whatever decision the president makes about reopening america, as he said in weeks, not months, we are going to continue to focus the attention and the
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compassion of the american people and our health care providers on people that are most vulnerable. in that senior with an underlying condition. >> bill: that brings us to our next question for the vice president on coronavirus. here is what brett wants to know about. >> my question for you is how long do you think it will be before all states could get testing for the coronavirus? >> bill: we are doing better come of is there an answer today? >> vice president pence: brett, it's a great question. what i can tell you is that, literally, testing is expanding all across the country by the tens of thousands every day. you might be encouraged know that as of last monday we had tested roughly 50,000 people in this country who have gotten results. but because president trump brought together the top commercial labs in america, the better part of a month ago, and
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brought them into this system and asked them to harness the immense ability of our commercial labs to process testing, literally, the report i received yesterday was that in one short week we had done more than a quarter of a million tests around the country. and we will soon be at a place where not just testing is available in the areas where you seen outbreaks, but testing is going to be broadly available all across the country. we are getting there. the fda actually just approved a swab test that can be self administered. you can contact your doctor about how to use that test yourself. we are developing new methodologies. but the most important thing to say is that, while the testing is important and we are especially telling every commercial lab, every state governor that we want to prioritize tests for people who have been hospitalized, we've issued that guidance from hhs.
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the reality is every american can make a difference by putting into practice the 15 days to slow the spread. for anyone who has a vulnerable senior in your home, i love what dr. fauci and dr. birx said not long ago. that is, "to keep them safe, you should just conduct yourself, if you have someone in your home that is a senior with an underlying health condition, just act like you have the coronavirus. wash your hands a lot, social distancing, clean services on a regular basis." that's how we protect. >> bill: so many of us have changed our behavior in that short period of time. it was jarring in the beginning. you got your experts, we got some good ones, too. i'll introduce the next panel, a panel of doctors have been with us from the beginning. they've got questions now for the vice president. dr. manette awes, most of the dr. oz show, and dr. siegel, nyu langone medical
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center paid also fox news contributor. dr. nicole saphier, new york city physician, also fox news contributor. and as i say hello to you all in various places, dr. oz, why don't you start? with your question for the vice president? >> dr. oz: mr. vice president, a malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine, which is basically a malaria pill, and azithromycin, stop the coronavirus infection. they told me on my show that denying these medications -- i'm going to quote him -- "is unethical." the fda has random critical trials to guide the medical community. how can we accelerate these clinical trials while also satisfying the demand for physicians who want these pills for their patients and themselves? do you think china and france are using the more widely? a personal question, would you take these pills if you felt ill today? >> vice president pence: first, dr. oz, let me thank you
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for your encouraging words to the american people throughout the coronavirus. frankly, that would go to every one of the doctors on this panel on fox. we are grateful to each of you. the good news is that the >> vice president pence: team medication, we deployed it in the state of newark. resources to be able to be administrated to people. i'm pleased to report you, doctor, the fda is approving off label use for the hydrochloric c queen right now they can prescribe that medication, which as you know is a perfectly legal and approved malaria medication. but doctors can now prescribe chloroquine for that off label purpose of dealing with the symptoms of coronavirus. we are making that clear across the country. as you know, and i'm sure the
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president will say this when he joins us in a bit, the president is very optimistic. he's very hopeful that some of these anecdotal results we have seen around the country will prove out to be true. i want to assure you, there is no barrier to access to chloroquine in this country. we are working to add to that supply, even as we speak. we have worked with companies like bayer that produce vast amounts of chloroquine. to your point, we are engaging in a clinical trial why we make that broadly available for off label use. we do want to take the opportunity, and we are doing that in new york state, to study the results of this so we can better understand the impact going forward. >> bill: have you been able to answer his question about whether or not you would take it if you felt you needed it, mr. vice president? >> vice president pence: i would follow the advice of my physician, and i would recommend
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that approached everyone. >> bill: and harris has a follow-up now. harris, go ahead. >> harris: thank you, bill. a couple things for the vice president and dr. oz. dr. oz, i want to start with you. the hydrochloroquine, i'm curious. do we know where that's manufactured? because china is slow to get back online. so many of our pharmaceuticals are made there. you just heard the vice president saying we will have more of it. you have a stockpile? what can you tell me? >> dr. oz: i know from the task force that there is some drug available that's coming on line relatively rapidly. but you need about 20 pills for a therapeutic dose to take it over the 7-10 day. back. so i don't think we have enough for all americans. i think for folks watching that it could make a meaningful difference in how contagious the virus is, and also how sick you get with it. we don't know that for sure because, as the vice president said, we haven't had the critical trials. but i would love to hear with the vice president has heard from the task force on the topic of availability. not just to treat covid-19
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patients, but also prophylaxis for people who are new those patients, and for doctors and nurses on the front lines who sometimes can protect themselves in emergencies. >> vice president pence: it's a great question. i spoke to dr. steve han at the fda just yesterday about the availability of chloroquine and the american marketplace. he said that there is a significant amount of chloroquine available for prescription by doctors. the important thing was we had the fda approved off label use. it's a malaria medication, doctors can prescribe it. but now doctors can prescribe it for dealing with the symptoms of coronavirus. but to dr. oz's point, we've also been working with manufacturers overseas. i have personally spoken, as the president has, to the ceo of bayer that produces chloroquine.
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they've been working with us to bring back literally millions of doses from overseas. manufacturing facilities. that's happening as we speak. we will focus those on areas where we have outbreak, where we have people that are struggling with coronavirus now. but to dr. oz's point, we are also going to work to continue to spin up manufacturing on an increase in basis so it's available for every american who is dr. might think it would be helpful. >> bill: some of it is being tested in new york city? >> vice president pence: that's where we are doing the clinical test. it began this morning. we distributed thousands of doses across new york. it's a parody of the president has placed on a response, to those communities. washington state, california, new york, who have seen
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significant outbreak. whether it be testing, supplies, we will continue to make testing supplies and medicines more broadly available for every american. >> bill: dr. marc siegel joins our conversation now with a question. dr. siegel? >> dr. siegel: mr. vice president, our health care workers are hurting and they are fearful and worried, they are on the front line, and they are heroes. i want to talk about vaccines. dr. fauci has told me he's got a lot of confidence in some of these vaccine candidates. there is one going to critical trials. germanyne, baylor has one, novo has one. there are several that are possibilities. he feels confident that in a year or more we will get something that will work. my question to you is, can you see a scenario where we would offer it way earlier than that to our health care workers who are at great risk? >> vice president pence: it's a great question, and what i would tell you is this is another example of how president trump brought together
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the private sector, marc. weeks ago the president brought together all the pharmaceutical companies. not just the largest in the country but the largest in the world. and he said, "i want you to go straight to work on vaccines. i want you to go to work on what's called therapeutics," which are medicines that will bring relief. and thanks to the incredible efforts of these pharmaceutical companies and the fda, as you know, we got the clinical trials in 62 days. that was a new american record. but that's just a phase one of the trial. dr. fauci has told me again and again that to make sure these medications are safe that the vaccine itself could be as much as a year and a half away. we will follow the science on that. but the good news is that the therapeutics -- we expect a little bit later this spring to have some breakthrough therapeutics that will be
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available that will bring relief to americans that are struggling with the coronavirus, and also, in the bill the senate is considering right now, there is a provision that has been championed by senator steve daines, a great senator, and championed by others like dr. scott gottlieb, that will actually create resources to allow the manufacture of different therapies and different approaches so that we are ready with the supply once we determine which one is most effective. it's another reason why we need to get that bill in the senate passed. not just for american workers, american businesses small and large, but also because it's going to continue to fuel that innovation and the development of therapies and vaccines. >> bill: thank you, dr. siegel. dr. nicole saphier now if your question. doctor, go ahead. >> dr. saphier: thank you so much, vice president pence, for taking our questions. the transparency is very important to the american
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people. i have a quick comment regarding dr. oz's question. it does seem right now that dr. fauci and dr. birx, who i agree are incredible in this process and i'm so glad they are involved, they seem to be taking a more traditional approaches some some of the experiment of medications as to what we saw in the past with hiv. although we are encouraging fast track and compassionate use. i wonder why we are not using parallel track. right now our hospital systems are being overrun. if we were able to get some of these medications were not only prophylaxis but treating the severity of the symptoms, we wouldn't necessarily need as many respirators. but that is just food for thought. my actual question for you, though, and it's from health care workers all over right now, especially the small ones. to handle the increased volume right now, we are shifting resources from the elective to emergent care, which is obviously leading to a large shift in health care dollars. is there a plan to help the small medical practices and those servicing rural and underserved areas who routinely provide necessary elective care
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to maintain smaller practices despite this massive shift in resources? >> vice president pence: it's really a terrific question, doctor. in the senate bill that is being debated now, the last time i checked there's about $100 billion for hospitals that would recognize -- we are asking americans, we are asking hospitals, to postpone elective surgery. frankly, millions of americans are. that's freeing up a tremendous amount of supplies, masks, especially those critical ventilators. but the impact on the hospitals is very real. that's why it's in the senate bill. let me speak, though. i want to be very clear. what i hear from dr. fauci and dr. birx is actually that we are on a dual track. whether it be the hydrochloric
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hydrochloroquine or some other helpful medications, we are working with the fda to allow these already illegal medications to be used for off label whose givens by doctors. they can be used for coronavirus. but we are also at the same time -- we are going to do a clinical test so we can be street with the american people about what we know is happening. but i want all our viewers to understand that it is a dual track. this is a president -- it's all of the above. he wants all the resources to be brought to bear. federal, state, local. one last word, if i might, bill. our health care workers, have just done a couple job. >> bill: amazing. >> vice president pence: in washington state, new york city, california, all across the country. the men and women that are coming in, that are providing compassionate care to people that are struggling with the symptoms. in doing so, often times with
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long hours and great difficulties. i want our health care workers to know that, other than the patients who have contracted this disease, especially the most vulnerable, at the same level of priority this president has placed our health care workers. it's one of the reasons in the last bill we insisted that they change the law so that industrial masks, the n95 masks, could not be sold hospitals. it has freed up tens of millions of masks that are now being distributed all across the country, sold to hospital systems, states, being distributed through fema. lastly, doctor, he mentioned the minute dominic ventilators. i just received word -- i know we started our conversation this hour on the subject ventilators and the challenges the state of new york faces. i was so pleased to confirm that earlier today fema, from the
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national stockpile, shipped 2,000 ventilators to the state of new york. and tomorrow there will be another 2,000 ventilators shipped from the national stockpile. we have a ways to go yet. it's the reason why we are marshaling all the resources, not just from the national stockpile but from our existing supply in hospitals, and the equipment that can be converted. but i want to let the people in newark know that earlier today 2,000 ventilators will shipped directly to new york. it's truly the epicenter of the coronavirus now in our country. 2,000 more will be arriving tomorrow. >> bill: when you talk about protective gear, we started this hour on ventilators and you are concluding this hour literally with some breaking news for new york. that will be some relief but we've got a ways to go. on the protective gear, even yesterday the governor of michigan was saying, "we've got enough to get us through the next shift, not through the next day." can you address her concerns,
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gretchen whitmer, as she voiced that yesterday? >> vice president pence: what i can say is we are spending up american industry, whether it be companies like 3m or honeywell that make these protective masks. they are called n95 masks. what the president did in asking congress in a bipartisan way to change the law, to extend liability protection, has now made it possible for tens of millions of masks that are used on construction sites to be used in hospitals. i believe the combination of more production that is happening from companies around the country, from a national stockpile, but also the need is being met. it's extraordinary, bill. companies like apple just announced that they are donating 6 million of these industrial masks, and 3 million to our states. it's inspiring the way
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businesses are donating these supplies to hospitals. >> bill: i'm grateful for your time. we are about to bring in the president. president trump is heading over now. he'll answer your questions, as well, for the next hour. our virtual town hall continues with the vice president and now president trump, next. ♪ first with no annual service contracts. first with taxes and fees included. now t-mobile has the first and only nationwide 5g network. reaching over 5,000 cities and towns and over 200 million americans. and t-mobile is not charging extra for 5g access. because this isn't our network... it's yours. i need all the breaks, that i can get. at liberty butchumal- cut. liberty biberty- cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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and, if you need help with your current vehicle account, we're here. for those who need a new chevy, interest-free financing for an unprecedented 84 months, with deferred monthly payments for 120 days on many of our most popular models. you may even have the option to shop online from your local dealer...and take delivery at home. it's just our way of doing our part... avoid sick people... and touching your face. there are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases. visit cdc.gov/covid19. brought to you by the national association of broadcasters and this station. ♪ >> bill: welcome back to our fox news virtual town hall, with president trump and members of his coronavirus task force. i'm bill and were at the rose
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garden here the white house. >> harris: i'm harris faulkner newark. the administration's 15 day plan, you saw a vice president holding that up several times. the plan is to curb the spread of covid-19 in the united states. it is set to expire in less than a week from today. now president trump and his task force are plotting the way forward for all the nation. >> bill: in the next hour joining us to talk about all that, president trump. still with us, vice president mike pence. the white house grenade response coordinator, dr. deborah birx, and surgeon general jerome adams. thank you for being here. unusual circumstances. you are trying to commit it with the american people, to bring the american people closer to yu and get some answers. to you, mr. president, when was the moment that you thought, "we got a move on this?" >> president trump: i think when i started seeing and reading about china and was going going on in china.
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wuhan specifically. it seemed to come mostly out of there, that area. the providence. when i saw that and the kind of death they were talking about on television, in the papers, i started reading a lot about it. i had to make a decision. do i stop people from china and specifically that area to come to the country? everybody was against it. almost everybody, i would say, was absolutely against it. we've never done it before, we never made a decision like that. >> bill: did summer to come with you with a bit of information, a piece of data? was it a real leader, a member of your own -- >> president trump: we had a large group of people, right behind me in the oval office. i consulted with mike, but we made a decision. i made a decision to close off to china. that was weeks early. honestly, i took a lot of heat. sleepy joe biden said it's "xenophobic." i don't know if he knows what
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that means, but that's okay. he said it's racist, what i did. thousands and thousands of more people, probably of thousas, would be dead right now if i didn't make that decision. i must say, doctors, nobody wanted to make that decision at the time. it was very, very early. call it luck or call it talent, it doesn't matter. we made a great decision. i took a lot of heat from china. they weren't happy with it. now they understand it. we are doing just fine. but they were not happy with it. a lot of heat from a lot of people. >> bill: bring the conversation to present day. in the past day and a half you got a lot of attention for this. a tweet that went out late at night, you said "we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself." so you started to look at this 15 day period, which will come to us, day 15 is next monday. today is day nine. what are you trying to gauge as to how you can open the country
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back up again? >> president trump: when you say i took a lot of heat for that, essentially, i really didn't. a lot of people agree with me. our country is not supposed to be -- it's not built to shut down. our people are full of vim and vigor and energy. they don't want to be locked into a house or an apartment or some space. it's not for our country. we are not built that way. i said, i don't want the cure to be worse than the problem itself. the problem being obviously the problem. you can destroy a country this way, by closing it down. where it literally goes from being the most prosperous -- we had the best economy in the history of our country three weeks ago. then all of the sudden we are supposed to shut it down. and then we are supposed to pay people not to go to work. we used to pay people to go to work. >> bill: but this is a government ordered to stay home. it's tricky, when you try to turn the faucet back on. new york could be different from
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utah, louisiana. it could be different from arizona. so how do you go about making that decision? >> president trump: you have to make the decision. look, we lose thousands -- i brought some numbers here. we lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. we don't turn the country off. every year. when i heard the number -- you know, we averaged 37,000 people a year. can you believe that? this year we are having a bad flu season. but we lose thousands of people a year to the flu. we never turn the country off. we lose much more than that to automobile accidents. we didn't call up the automobile companies and say, "stop making cars, we don't want cars anymore." we have to get back to work. with all of that being said, it's incredible what the american people have done. honestly, the american people have learned, we've all learned to get it. between the shaking of hands in the washing of hands, i always wash my hands a lot. i never was a big believer in shaking hands.
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once i became a politician, you shake hands and get used to it. immediately, i sort of apologize that i'm not shaking your hand. >> bill: we exchange air elbows, which seems to be the thing. >> president trump: and never like that, actually. >> bill: on capitol hill, you get members of the senate debating a $2 trillion bill. did you think that it blows away the ability for us to imagine that they could pass legislation anin excess of $2 trillion? who knows what's behind, what is stacked in the $2 trillion? how much concern do you have that you could see the criticism that president obama faced in 2009? about sweetheart deals for certain companies, that democrats would argue? >> president trump: i canceled the deal. i said, "i'm not going to send that deal." nancy pelosi came and put a lot of things in the deal that had nothing to do with the workers, that has to do with an agenda
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they've been trying to get passed for ten years. i came in, i told mike, i told a lot of people. "there's no way i'm signing that deal." i was getting calls from john kennedy, ben sasse, for many people. i was getting calls from a lot of different people. saying that this deal -- tom cotton -- this deal is terrible, what they've done. we almost had a deal the day before. it was between schumer and mitch, it was really a good, solid deal. all the sudden they start throwing all the little green new deal stuff in. the board rooms, what they look like. "we want clean energan energy, t all this stuff. let's stop drilling oil." they had things that were terrible. windmills all over the place, all sorts of credits for windmills. to kill the breeze and ruin the real estate, right? a lot of problems. i said, "i'm not saying this deal." >> bill: $2 trillion, it's
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hard to avoid some of the trapdoors. >> president trump: but we have great things not only for companies -- forgive the companies, the companies are nothing other than an employer of thousands and thousands of people. they pay them very well. we want to protect our workers. i want to protect our workers. workers first. but you have to protect companies like boeing. they had a real bad year, let's face it, with the problems. they were in trouble before this and then all of the sudden this happened. we can't lose a boeing, companies frankly that were solid -- aaa companies. because of what's happened over the last couple of weeks, they go from aaa to being like they could use a hand. >> bill: tough times. >> president trump: right. we can't lose those companies. if we lose those companies we're talking about hundreds of thousands of jobs, millions of jobs. the faster we go back, the better it's going to be. we have a pent up energy that's going to be unbelievable. we will bring it back fast. >> bill: have got a lot more questions, as soon as my
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colleague harris faulkner reads you -- >> president trump: to have an earplug here? >> bill: out help you out with that. go ahead, harris. >> harris: hello, mr. president. so great to see you today. this will be a little bit to relate. i understand you guys are going back and forth on the economy and employers. more than 66% of people are employed by small businesses. the vp talked a little bit about this. we are dropping big companies' names. the question here is, how do you shore up both as you look forward? >> bill: the question is a good one, and it's talking about boeing. you've got two-thirds of american businesses are small businesses. you think about what they are trying to do, in terms of adjusting to this new reality that's been thrown on them. what will you do for small business? >> president trump: first, i have to say harris is one of my favorite people. i didn't hear a word she said
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and i was hoping it wasn't too devastating a question. but she is a fantastic person, i have to say that. okay, now that i've said it, because i can't hear harris, the bill is very much focused on the small business person. it's very much focused on small companies including restaurants and all sorts of small companies. what people don't realize, you are talking about these massive -- we have the greatest companies in the world. you add them all up, and the small businesses are just about equal in size to these massive companies of which we have many also. it's the engine of our country, small business. this bill is absolutely aimed at the small business and the worker, and the workers of the small businesses. and the owners. the owners are going to need help. they are going to need some loans, some things, and we are going to be able to take care of them. because we don't want the small business to go out of business, nor do we want the big businesses to go out of business. >> bill: when they said "was the president, we've got to shut
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this down," how hard you push? >> president trump: i've never heard such a thing. we've lost as many as i get 70,000 people in one year. they came in and they said to me, "sir, we are going to have to close country." i said, "what are you talking about?" "we have a virus coming in." i knew that, and i made the early decision to close to china. that was a long time before they came in. but they came in, experts, and they said, "we are going to have to close country." i said, "we've never closed the country before, this is never happened before." i said, "are you serious about this?" we are going to take this country that's fully employed -- we have 160 million people working, and you're telling me we have to close that? and people are going to go out of business and they are going to go bankrupt and not have jobs? what are we talking about here?" don't forget, this is never been done. we've had flus before. we've had viruses before.
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this is something new. and this is why i say -- i give it two weeks. i guess by monday or tuesday, it's about two weeks. we will assess at that time and give it more time if we need a little more time. we have to open this country up. >> bill: but when they came to you and had that conversation with you, how long did it take you to accept that new reality? >> president trump: i accept things, i understand things very quickly. i listened to exactly what they were saying. we can socially distance ourselves and go to work and have to work a little harder. you can clean your hands five times more than you use to. you don't have to shake hands anymore with people. that might be something good coming out of this. although i must tell you, as a politician, it's a lot warmer when you walk into a crowd and shake a lot of people's hands. >> bill: i do agree with you. >> president trump: they love me, i love them. it is a little colder. but we won't be shaking hands for at least a while. and things will happen. we have to put the country to work. look, you're going to lose and
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hundred people to the flu. but you're going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression. you're going to lose people. you're going to have suicides by the thousands. you're going to have all sorts of things happen. you're going to have instability. you can't just come in and say, "let's close up the united states of america, the most successful country in the world by far." when i came in, when i was elected -- and you knew this, china was going to overtake us in the year 2019. it wasn't even close. we went way up and they didn't. we've done great. they pay us a fortune in tariffs and everything else. and yet we have a good relationship with them. we just signed a trade deal. we are the number one in the world by fire. and now a few people walk into the oval office and say, "sir, we have to close up the country." i said, "what are you talking about?" >> bill: and that, mr. president, must've been a very difficult thing to accept.
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one of the to >> president trump:one of tht decisions i've ever made. as soon as you do it, you are going to drop -- they are talking about 20 or 25 points of gdp. nobody's are her 25 points. if we went down one point, that's a big deal. all the sudden you are basically turning off the country. this has never been done before. "what are you talking about?" without hot spots before. we've had horrible flus. think of it, we averaged 36,000 people, and death. i'm not talking about cases, i'm talking about deaths. 36,000 deaths per year. people die from the flu. but we've never closed down the country from the flu. so you say to yourself, what is this all about? it's never been done. >> bill: allergy process that? >> president trump: not good i wasn't happy about it.
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i also knew that i had to do it. look, with turkey, i give this as an example. and syria. i said, "sign a deal with the kurds. make peace." erdogan didn't want to. he's a man who loves turkey. i have a very good range. i said, "sign a deal." he didn't really want to. the kurds didn't want to. it went on, the so-called safe zone. recently, a few months ago. i said, "do me a favor, signed the deal, get it done." they didn't want to. all of the sudden they start fighting. fighting, fighting, fighting. it was vicious in other countries got involved. i said sign a deal come they said, "okay, we'll sign a deal." we need a period. if i would have not done it, we would have been unbelievable he criticized for not doing it. but it's never been done before. somehow, the word got out that this is the thing we are
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supposed to be doing. now, we've had some really bad epidemics and other things. i mean, this pandemic. but we've had bad epidemics. i'm sure they could have been called pandemics. we've never done a thing like this before. but we had to do it. it's been very painful for our country and very destabilizing for our country. we have to go back to work much sooner than people thought. people can go back to work and they can also pass it on my practice good judgment. >> bill: one more question we will get back to reviewers. a month ago the cdc had an initial test that failed. at that point, late february, you said it's perfect. and it wasn't perfect. what happened there in the early stages? in late february? >> president trump: what i said was perfect was my conversation with the head of ukraine. that's what i really said was perfect. that was another whole scandal, nonsense, a total witch hunt. but this one is a much different thing. we had other administrations, not just the last one.
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they build up a platform. they built up a test. but the test was no good. it didn't handle large numbers of people. it was okay for a very small group, but not for a large group. so we had to break it down -- >> bill: did the cdc screwup, or did you screw up? where did this -- >> president trump: we did not screw up, and i don't think cdc screwed up either. they had a test that would have worked for a small number of people. in other words, for a normal problem. i don't think anybody -- in all fairness, to the cdc, this is a big government agency. they have very good people in that. but nobody ever expected a thing like this. nobody would say that millions and millions of people have been tested. what we've done is break that system and we've created a new system that now we are doing unbelievably big numbers. it is set for the future should be ever need it again. i hope we don't need it again. >> bill: thank you for your time. we'll bring any others in the moment. thank you for being patient. we will get to you.
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my psoriasis. cosentyx works on all of this. cosentyx treats the multiple symptoms of psoriatic arthritis to help you look and feel better. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting, get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop or worsen, or if you've had a vaccine or plan to. serious allergic reactions may occur. watch me! get real relief with cosentyx. ♪ >> harris: welcome back to our fox news virtual town hall with president trump and his coronavirus task force. excited to finally get to be able to talk one-on-one with him now. we got our tech problems worked out. i want to first ask you, mr. president, about the idea of the political division that's going on on capitol hill.
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you're talking about these bills, phase 1, 2, and 3 of the stimulus bill, like they will fix so much of the economy. people are literally fighting like cats. what can you do to bring them together? >> president trump: i think they are actually coming together. we had a bill that was done the other night and all the sudden somebody else injected herself in and we didn't have anything that was even remotely assignable. but now i hear just from a few minutes ago that they are doing well. it's for the workers, it's from the people of the country. i hear they're doing well so we'll see how it comes out. it's like, i watched governor cuomo and he was very nice. we are building in hospitals, we are building and medical centers, and he was complaining -- we are doing differently more than anybody else. he was talking about the ventilators. but he should have ordered the ventilators, and he had a choice. he had a chance. because right here, i just got this out. that he refused to order 15,000
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ventilators. i will show this to bill. take a look at that, bill. what does that say? >> bill: social distance and? it says that he didn't buy the ventilators in 2015 for a pandemic, established lotteries instead. he had a chance to buy in 2015, 16,000 ventilators at a very low price. he turned it down. i'm not blaming him or anything else. but he shouldn't be talking about us. he's supposed to be buying his own ventilators. we are going to help. if you think about it, governor cuomo, we are building in four hospitals. we are building an four medical centers. we are working very, very hard for the people of new york. we are working a lot with him. then i watch him on this show complaining. he had 16,000 ventilators he could have had a great price and he didn't buy them. >> harris: i hear you going back and forth, and governor cuomo has talked in recent days, that you regularly
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talk and have a good relationship. so we will follow the news. as you bringing us don't make it to us there in the rose garden i want to get to the viewers, the people's voice is so huge right now. joyce submitted a question from facebook about the seamless checks. i want to get your reaction. >> i am fortunate i can continue to work. i can telecommute. there are people who are losing jobs, they are losing an entire income for households. rather than receive a check, i would just like to pay it forward and have the government passed mine onto someone else. >> president trump: wow, is that great. well, you obviously come from west virginia. i love that state. thank you very much, joyce. that's great, i wish we had more people like joyce. it's going to be a substantial amount of money, around $3,000 for a family of four. assuming it all gets done, assuming we can get the democrats to sign it. it'll be great.
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but joyce, i think that's a nice gesture. i really appreciate it, thank you. >> harris: and you just said, right when you and i began talking a few minutes ago, almost in breaking news fashion, it looks like the juggernaut might be moving on capitol hill to try and push toward that stimulus bill. we'll be watching for that. you know, mr. president, i'm watching the dow as you've been talking. and formerly the vice president. it's up. what do you watch for each day? are you keeping your eye on that? is that companies calling you, small and large? what is your barometer that, "okay, things are in trouble," or, "things are doing better?" >> president trump: i think that i was help dominic helped by the fact -- there were theories would stay out for four or five months. you destroy our country if you do thing like that. we will be opening relatively soon, it's our time comes up
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monday or tuesday or the allotted two weeks. we will stay a little longer than that. but we want to get open very soon. i think that was a big reason it's gone up. i also think the fact that the senate and the house, we seem to be getting along as much as you can get along. we seem to be getting along now on a bill. i think that maybe had even less of an impact than the fact that we are opening up this incredible country. because we have to do that. i'd love to have it open by easter. i would love to have it opened by easter. >> harris: oh, wow. okay. >> president trump: i will tell you that right now. it's such an important day for other reasons, but i will make it an important day for this. i would love to have the country opened up, and they are just raring to go, by easter. >> harris: that's april 12th. we will watch and see what happens. i will toss it back to my cohort, bill. >> bill: think you, harris. that would be a great american resurrection, to annapolis weeks from now.
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dr. birx, a series of questions on the medical front. i want to go to allison from indiana. mr. vice president, she has a question by way of facebook about possible mutation. watch. >> my question is this. if you were to get the coronavirus, can it mutate and can you get it again? >> bill: dr. birx? >> that's a great question and a very smart question. because it's an rna virus, it can and constantly does mutate. what's been pretty good about the coronavirus is, in general, they keep their structural pieces very similar. what do i mean by that? the outer coat, the envelope, and the inside part of the virus, stay very constant. it's similar to sars, which we haven't seen since 2003. what has been picked for sites come both for the vaccine and for monoclonal antibodies, are those constant sites. we believe anybody becomes positive and makes effective
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antibodies, because there are some people who can't make as good an antibody as others, but if you make effective antibodies you should get reinfected. >> bill: the way it was described to me, the medical positioning of this question, the virus is trying to figure out a way to survive. and that's where it moves around and mutates. in singapore there was a headline earlier today suggesting a possible second wave and that island nation. how do you gauge that at this point? >> remember, in singapore, they took the president's guidelines and executed them very early because they could see china next door. so they saw those and implement to those guidelines. very few people became infected in singapore. because so few people have been infected, you don't have what they call "herd immunity." until we get through this current pandemic, if it has seasonality, which we hope and believe it could, if it gets through this current season, it
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will be in everybody's best interest to do as the president has recommended. our work on vaccines, additional therapeutics. getting to both pre and post-prophylaxis. so the health care providers can get a shot, potentially, that will protect them. we call it preexposure prophylaxis. all those things are being worked on to prepare us for the next season. so we are focused today on what we need today, to get through this current epidemic. and then we are also getting prepared in case it comes back in the fall where it case it comes back in the fall of 2021. >> bill: i want to bring in the surgeon general. i've been listening to very carefully for weeks now. what you've said is we want to be the model of south korea. well, south korea has flattened the current, to borrow a phrase, and their death rate is about 1.2%. this morning, here in the u.s., our death rate was right on that same mark, 1.3%. to the surgeon general, what
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does that tell you? how much do you consider the death rate here at home when we try and make decisions for ourselves? >> thank you for that, bill. there's a couple things for the american people to remember. the first one is that when you look at the data here in the united states of all the people who have tested so far, only about 90% -- well, 90% of those folks do not have the coronavirus. they test negative. so most people, even when they have cold and flu symptoms, do not have coronavirus, number one. number two, 98, 99% people are recovering. people need to understand that yes, some people will get coronavirus in many community's across america. but most of them will recover. that's very important for people to understand. beyond that, we are trying to help people understand the importance of stopping the spread. in the president, when he nine days ago listened to his health
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providers, his health consultants, he said, "what do we need to do right now?" and we said, "we need to leaned this next two weeks to stop the spread and reassess." one thing i could tell you for certain, i've been on the task force for three weeks. the president listens to dr. fauci. he listens to dr. birx. he listens when i or dr. carson or dr. hahn or dr. redfield speak up. he also listens to the governors. we will assess at the end of the 14 days and figure out the most appropriate thing to do. based on my experience in the task force so far, the president will make an appropriate decision based on all the data. >> bill: thank you for an answer. is everything cool with you and dr. fauci? he wasn't there last night for the briefing, he's not here today. >> president trump: he has other things to do. we get along very well. >> bill: your relationship is good? >> president trump: i think it's a very good. he would have heard about it if it wasn't. every time he's not at a meeting -- sometimes other people, too. they say, "why isn't dr. birx of the meeting? is their problem?"
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and i say, "deborah, can you please come to the meeting? do you mind?" i respect all these people, these are great people. deborah is extraordinary. antoni is extraordinary. i get along with all of them they have other things to do. yesterday we weren't really talking about what he is an expert on, we are talking about other things. a lot of other things. you know, i don't think they should be at every -- >> bill: so you are good, that's the point? >> president trump: we find. >> bill: 96% came back negative and south korea. i think that's an important point to convey again to the american people. noah from maryland has a question now. his question is about health care workers on the front lines. >> my mother is a nurse. she works in the health care field. what do you and your team plan to do to help health care workers that are putting
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themselves at risk every single day as a result of the coronavirus? >> bill: excellent question. dr. birx, do you want to get that? >> i love that question, because my mother is a nurse. she's 91 now so she's not practicing, but i think we have to remember, in the majority of hospitals and the majority of places, it is the nurses that are of the front lines. they are the ones working every moment with a patient to ensure that they do well. they are the ones at the bedside. they are the ones providing comfort, providing the medical interventions. they are our first priority. it's why we work so hard to get the protective personal equipment out there. we didn't didn't often talk about is, with the changing guidelines for testing, that is going to free up all of that personal protective devices that were being utilized for testing back into the hospitals and the clinics for our nurses and doctors. that's going to make millions more masks and ppe, as we call
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it, available to the hospital workers who knew the most. because now people can self test. >> bill, can i jump in on that really quickly? i want people to know -- i'm still practicing anesthesiologist at walter reed. the vice president and i first met during ebola. i went into the hospital. i put on ppe. i know how scary it is when you have the proper equipment to deal with an infectious disease. i'm getting text phone calls, messages from people all across the country. i want health care workers of america to know, we are fighting for you each and every day. to make sure what you get what you need from the stockpile, what you need for manufacturers across america. you are getting decreased demand, which is where you put out our new guidelines on elective surgeries. it's not just about increasing the supply. we aren't going to supply our way out of the problem, as important as supply is. we also need to lower demands by increasindecreasing unnecessaryf
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ppe. a game changer that came out was the new self swabs. the vice president and president have talked about that, that would utilize less ppe. we are working on making sure supply gets where it needs to, and fema is doing a great help with that. >> bill: how can someone watching this right now acquired a self test? >> right now the fda's making them more available. we've seen an increase. when you look at monday to friday, the amount of testing increased tenfold. so we are seeing testing increase. the concern is that it's using up more ppe, which is why we want to prioritize testing for the people who are most in need. health care workers, the people who are vulnerable, and why we are pushing. the fda has lowered barriers like none other to make sure we can get these new testing modalities available that use less ppe and do more tests. >> bill: thank you for that. back to harris within the question. >> harris: actually, i want to stay on this home testing kit topic for just a second with dr. birx. the home test, is there a place
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where people check a box and say, "i'm positive," or not? how do you keep up with people who test themselves can make you need that information to know where the clusters are in the country. that's part of why you would do it. >> great. so, it's not a home test, the self test. what do i mean by that? i mean the individual can drive up, receive the items, because again, we want to test people with fever and symptoms they really need to be tested. they can self swab the front of their nose, put it in the container, and the person can collect it with gloves, gloves alone come with a biohazard bag, and get it in. i just want to speak to the americans for just a second. we have to ensure that we still are testing. even though probably by today we will have done more tests than south korea did in eight weeks, and the last eight days. in the last eight days we've done more testing than south korea. but we did that because we transform the testing process.
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we don't want people who are just worried to go get tested. if you don't have a persistent fever, if you don't have a cough, if you're not in a risk group, if you're not a nurse or doctor, we want that testing and the drive through testing and the testing provided in the cities to be very much still focused on the people who need it. because there's only so much, even though high throughput machines are doing about 60, 70, thousand tests a day now. they could get potentially 150,000 per day. we want to make sure we are testing in the areas that really have the problems. >> vice president pence: to simplify that point if i may -- the american people are asking all the time, the president and i hear it all the time and see it. what can they do to make a difference? in addition to the 15 days to slow the spread, the american people could take dr. birx's advice. it's that old proverb but it's
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not the healthy you need a doctor, but the sick. one of the ways that you can help is by recognizing. we want to focus testing and people have symptoms. although according to the tests now, as the surgeon general said, 90% of the people who have been tested for the coronavirus don't have it. okay? that number, we've tested more than 320,000 people. that's an encouraging number, i would expect. for every american out there that just may be concerned but not be symptomatic, one of the ways you can make sure the testing is available for people who have symptoms, and just as important for health care workers, that we want to make sure have all the protective equipment that they need, you can recognize that if you don't have symptoms, don't do a test. >> president trump: harris, one thing i might add that to me is so important, again, we took something that was broken and we made it the model.
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i didn't even know, i just heard the number for the first time from deborah, that in a short period of time moved on more testing than south korea. you're not going to be that in the newspapers because they don't like to write things like that. but i love you to say that one more time. that's a big number. we've done more than south korea -- in a short period of time, we are doing more than south korea by a lot. what was a number? >> we are moving there probably around 2900. -- >> 290,000, almost 300,000. >> we are over 300,000. we achieve that over the last seven to eight days. we have to do more. >> they do that over eight weeks. >> president trump: we are going up very rapidly. every day. >> bill: what was our negative test rate? is a 90% or higher? >> i'm glad you asked. this gets into, where's the virus now and where is it
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expanding? so, across the country, our test rates are still way under 10%. except for one place, new york city, metro new york, new jersey close to new york city. those rates are coming in in the 28% range. right now new york, the case attack rate, we are talking about the number of people getting infected, is 4-5 times any other place in the country. >> bill: why is that, density of the population? >> bill: part of it is density come apart is the spread that may have happened on metal surfaces like in the subway, people who are in the subway. part of it may be a large number of people came back from christmas in asia. >> president trump: tabling the governor for that? >> part of it could be the europeans who have come back subsequently. obviously it's a big area of world trade and global transit. i think the virus was probably quietly expanding.
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until it gets into an older population, you don't really see it in the same way. >> bill: think you for that. we will get all of you in a moment. quick break, more of your questions from across america here at the white house and the rose garden. ♪ i had always heard stories about my great grandfather, but family can only tell you so much... about your history. i found some incredible records about samuel silberman... passenger manifests, census information,
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ago but i'm sure a lot of people were pretty keen on. you said that we would -- i'm paraphrasing now -- that you'd like to be back to normal by easter sunday. that's 19 days from now. is that true? >> president trump: i think it's possible. why isn't it? we've never close the country before. we've had some pretty bad flu peerless and viruses. i think it's absolutely possible. people will have to practice all the social distancing and don't shake hands and wash your hands and all the things that we are doing now. but we have to get our country back to work. our country wants to be back at work. that was never a controversial thing i said the other day. our country wants to go back to work. again, the cure, this cure is worse than the problem. again, many people, in my opinion more people, are going to die if we allow this to continue. we have to go back to work. our people want to go back to work. >> bill: you have said consistently the first order
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business dominic of business is to kill the virus. we look at the data from allow the world , what do you how do you determine that 19 days from now it might be safe? their minds to be watching this who have their family fortune on the line. >> president trump: they have a family fortune on the line the other day dominic way, too. they're going to lose their business is get the back. we want to start up as soon as we can. if we delay this out, you are going to lose more people then you are losing with the situation as we know it. i think it's very important for our country to go back. i've had many, many people -- when he said it's a little bit controversial, not to most people. most people said i'm right about it. whether we are locked in the room or whether we are in our office and practicing all the things we are supposed to be practicing, staying away from each other, you know, et cetera. not shaking hands, washing your hands all the time.
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our country has to get back to work. otherwise it's going to be very hard to start it up again. we can't lose the advantage that we have. >> bill: what we're trying to figure out in this whole scenario here is how deadly the viruses. so far it is highly contagious but not very deadly. we can agree on that based on the data, correct? >> yes. >> bill: so when you take the answer of easter sunday, do you see that is realistic, do you see it as possible? >> my job, and i think what's really important, a lot of what we've done is tackle this epidemic the way people said we should have tackled the flu in 1918. they compared st. louis, who took this kind of approach, to philadelphia. we are trying to do now is used 21st century solutions. trying to get data down to the most granular level, so we understand what's happening at the area of the spread. even today, there are counties throughout the united states
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that don't have their first case. so our job is to make sure they never have their first case, and ensure that our efforts are focused on where the virus is expanding. that can be done today because we have that level of granularity. that's with the president has asked us to put together. to use these two weeks to get all the data from around the country and all the data from around the globe and really understand what's working. it's really important that the americans -- i know the vice president cover this very clearly in the first hour -- but every american needs to continue the president's guidelines for these next six or seven days. we have to have them following those guidelines. >> bill: i see the surgeon general shaking his head in agreement. >> president trump: you can't compare this to 1918 where close to 100 million people died. that was a flu, a little different. that was a flu where if you got it you had a 50/50 chance, or very close, of dying. i think we are substantially under 1%, because the people
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that get better are not reporting. so we only know people that go to doctors and go to hospitals. we are taking that, and we are still a little bit above 1%. when you add all of the people, the millions of people that have it and that get better, we are substantially less than 1%. when they came to my office, don't forget, they were saying 3%, 4%, 5%. this is a very big difference. no, we have to put our country back to work. >> bill: we have a few minutes left. i want to bring in our panel of experts. dr. mehmet oz is with us, dr. marc siegel, and dr. nicole saphier. i want to give you a round of questions, with dr. oz. why don't we start with dr. siegel this time around? go ahead, marc. >> dr. siegel: , mr. president, with the death going over 600 today, the fewer that's coming out of this disturbs me the most. fear divides. you need unification and unified leadership to fight this. so i was really encouraged to see you reaching out to governors. governor cuomo, governor newsom,
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making liaisons that were there before. do you think that kind of movement where you are of a leader and other people work with you will help us to isolate the virus and the epicenters where they are? to separate those epicenters, test the people in the centers, and thereby squashed virus? >> president trump: i do. i do think, doctor, it's a very good thing. governor newsom and i have been getting red very great. we are sending the great hospital ship, as you know. we are doing very well with, i think, almost all the governors. for the most part it really has become something that we are dealing with almost every day. speaking to each other, whether it's conference calls, usually will have 50 governors that will call it the same time. i think we are doing very well. it's a two-way street. they have to treat us well, also. they can't say, "oh, gee, we should get this, we should get that." we are literally building hospitals and medical centers. and then i hear there's a problem with ventilators. welcome we sent them ventilators
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and they could have had 15,000 or 16,000 paid all they had to do was order them two years ago but they decided not to do it. they can't blame us for that. >> bill: dr. oz is up next. go ahead, doctor. >> dr. oz: president trump, a good surgeon knows after the surgery when his patient can be discharged. these 15 days are like a big operation on america. but a great surgeon knows when there's a competition after discharge. if we can meet the goal on fixing america and getting it back on its feet by easter, i want to know exactly how you know that a safer medical perspective. what's going indicate that we might have to pull back a tiny bit in case we have a relapse? >> president trump: i think, doctor, a thing like that cabin. but i believe we could do much of what we are doing and we can do it from a work environment instead of an environment where everybody is locked up and everybody is saying, "oh, the business is gone, the business is gone, everybody is suffering depression." you know him better than anybody about depression.
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i've watched where you talk about depression. that causes death and it causes a lot of problems. these are people, they want to save their business. they don't want to be locked up in some room or some apartment or house, in the meantime their restaurants are closed, their businesses are closed. they want to be saving their business. i believe very strongly that you are going to lose far more people by going that way then you are if we keep this thing going. i'm sure we have doctors that would say, "let's keep it closed for two years." okay? "let's close it up for two years." no, we got to get it open. our people wanted open and that's the way our country was built. >> bill: dr. nicole saphier. doctor, go ahead with your question. >> dr. saphier: thank you. president trump, i do believe as a nation we are beholden to you for your decisive and swift action in the beginning with the travel ban. i do believe he would have been in a much different worst situation at that not happen. however, we still do have a lag in the testing, which did not have a thing to do with you. my question is for dr. birx and
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the task force. we see across the nation that some people are not able to get tests. i have colleagues who still can't test some of their patients. is there a plan to fast-track or even parallel track rapid serological testing to get this out there to be and mobilize more ppe and more hospital beds by doing more testing and being able to isolate those people quickly? >> that's a very good question. right now the tests we have are all based on the rna of the virus. we are utilizing the platforms. thank goodness for utilizing the platforms that were developed really to work and support hiv-positive clients. this is the machines that have been used to detect their viral loads for the last more than a decade in the united states. those machines are being utilized for this test and a high throughput way. we have asked developers to work on a point of care figure finget test.
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the antibody test will only tell you if you've been infected, even if we can get there early recovery phase. then we are working with companies to work on getting rna tests that are point-of-care. so these are really critical tests that people are working on right now. in the meantime, we are using what we have today to ensure that we can get more testing done. i want to thank the american people and physicians who have lelettuce paradise. remember, we didn't have this platform until eight days ago. we've done all these diagnoses for inpatients primarily, so they can get on the appropriate therapy. i prioritize our testing to hospital patients. we will come over the next few weeks, be able to make more tests available to the actual american public with symptoms, and to doctors offices as you requested. >> president trump: nicole, it's important to her member, we've done more tests in eight days then south korea has done in eight weeks. our tests are better. they are highly sophisticated.
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frankly, i took one. it's not the most pleasant thing in the world, i will tell you that. we are going to have a much simpler test very soon. but we have a really good test, and we've done more in eight days. i just read this number a few minutes ago, i learned it from being on your show, actually. >> bill: i think he described it as up the nasal passage, and hang a right at the eye. all of you stand by, we have a few more moments left here. as our virtual town hall continues, to all the doctors. nicole saphier, mehmet oz, marc siegel. we on you on a day-to-day basis pray thanks for being part of this. quick commercial break and back to the rose garden as our town hall continues. i'd make it available in dozens... make that thousands of configurations. it would keep an eye on my fleet... ...and an eye out for danger. with active brake assist. if i built a van, i'd make it available in diesel and gas.
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>> back here in the rose garden at the white house, i am bill hemmer with harris faulkner. just with the panel here, the president and the vice president, dr. birx and the surgeon general, thank you for your time. i see this as a public service but also a way to figure out what the facts are thus the reason we came here. you were just saying during the commercial the way you can achieve your objective is how? >> the president made it clear yesterday that we want to open up the country as soon as we can but the key is more americans and tens of millions are are put into practice, the president's coronavirus guidelines. the sooner we will be able to
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open up. >> what is it? wash her hands, if you are sick, stay home. >> personal hygiene, if you are sick, stay home. it is also avoiding groups of more than ten, avoiding unnecessary travel. don't eat in restaurants during this period of time, use the drive through. these are all the principles that every american can do. they were going to be americans that have different guidance from their state and local officials that are more stringent. we defer to that and we respect that but the more americans that do this, the sooner we will be able as a president said to get back to work. >> we have to be a patient nation if you're going to ask them to do that. thank you for your time. and i will see you a bit later on bill hemmer reports. dr. birx, terrific work, and the surgeon general thank you for sharing your knowledge with us today. that is it from here at the white house and harris, i will see you back in new york very soon.
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i hope the last two hours held some value for a lot of our viewers across the country and around the world. >> i can tell from social media it absolutely did. thanks to the president forgetting that u.s. women's football team home as well. i'll see you tomorrow. >> dana: president donald trump telling americans in the last hour "we have to go back to work. "that is the world health organization warns the united states could become the next epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. i am dana perino and this is "the daily briefing." the president saying that he hopes to have the country opened up and just raring to go by easter which is about two and a half weeks away. we will be talking a lot about that this hour. comes as health officials say the virus has infected more than the 400,000 people.